Every year at Pro Sound News, we run a story on what to get your favorite audio roadie for the holidays. We look around for useful and sometimes goofy items that are small enough to fit in a road case drawer and which are as applicable to guys running PTA meeting audio as to their brethren tackling 50,000-seat stadium shows.
This year, we cast our net far and wide, using Twitter, publicist listservs and more to ask for cool gift ideas. We hoped we’d get interesting responses, and were not disappointed: Everyone from Pink’s touring drummer to a roadie’s mom wrote in, and while some answers didn’t fit the question, there was a lot of good stuff to discover. In fact, there was so much that we’ve split it all up over four days—and today, we highlight…
ADVICE FROM THE PROS
When it comes to giving a gift to a traveling audio pro, the people who know best are the ones who’ve given a few themselves.
• In the “you can’t make this stuff up” department, one woman wrote in recalling how she gave her roadie ex-boyfriend throwing knives, a tattoo gift certificate, fire-throwing lessons and a hanging bean-bag chair. www.lebeanock.com
• Mark Schulman (www.markschulman.net), touring drummer for Pink, Cher, Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Billy Idol and others, dropped us a line with multiple suggestions: "1. Retainer during breaks from the tour; 2. A French maid on the tour bus rider; 3. Coleman's English Mustard in every country; 4. Internet USB dongle charged with two months free internet; 5. Skype phone; 6. Another French maid after the first one broke."
• Putting the word out on Twitter, we got a few learned responses; @GYR8 suggested, “Whirlwind Q-box, an indispensible tool used everyday in sports audio,” while @ReynaudDude offered “You can never go wrong with a Leatherman multi-tool (especially the Super Tool 300 or Skeletool), even if they have a few. Newer = Better.” @JBSoundGuy chimed in with “How about a Phonic PAA3, a dbx 120 and an excellent pair of earplugs?” and @IMSystemsGroup sagely suggested, “How about free monthly visits to a Chiropractor!”
• And Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter (not to mention new mom) Lisa Loeb (www.lisaloeb.com) closes things out, relating her tour-tested, personal favorite gift for roadies: “Starbucks cards. Always Starbucks cards.”
Have some great roadie gift ideas you want to share? Tell us in the comments below!